Technology has changed the way people receive hot water to their homes along with the ever increasing awareness for the environment which has helped drive the change in hot water systems.
Back when I first started my own business I would get a lot of jobs involving low pressure hot water systems in the roof, these systems were very popular back in the 1960’s and 1970’s throughout Adelaide. They were usually a large copper tank which sat in the middle of the house where the roofs pitch was its greatest to allow maximum room for the unit to be installed and later serviced. They were either powered by electricity or natural gas. Although these tanks would last for 20 plus years (with some routine maintenance performed in between) because of the low pressure inside the tank and the fact that the tank was copper (great resistance to corrosion) people were always disappointed with the low pressure from these tanks.
As technology and systems had moved on from the in ceiling hot water systems people started requesting alternatives to their old system. If my customer had natural gas pipes already to the property I would suggest that they look at installing a mains pressure instant gas hot water service (which is a small box that sits on the wall and only creates hot water on demand) or if they did not have natural gas I suggested they look at installing a mains pressure electric hot water service storage unit, most commonly a 250 litre unit would be supplied. The change from low pressure hot water to mains pressure was a welcomed relief to my customer.
Now moving forward from these days many more options are now on the market such as Solar Powered Hot Water, Heat Pump Hot Water Systems, Gas Storage, Solar Boosted, Electric Continuous Flow and the most common Natural Gas Instant Hot Water Systems.
In some circumstances if you do not have gas already installed to your property and it is available in the street the government are offering rebates to have a gas powered hot water service installed which is a great incentive to install a new Instant Hot Water Service.
Some of the common brands that I install for my customers are Rinnai, Rheem and Bosch. Rinnai have a large focus on instant hot water systems (the small box that sits on your wall) and in my experience offer good value for money in these range of system. Options that people often consider when installing a new gas powered instant hot water system such as a Rinnai B16 or a Rinnai Infinity 26 is a control pad which allows you to dial up the desired temperature from your bathroom before even getting in the shower. In the past these controllers needed to be wired up, but just recently the manufacturers have released a wireless controller which eliminates the need to run cables and makes installing these controllers to existing house’s much easy for me the plumber and cheaper to the customer as the labour time is less than halved.
When it comes to choosing the right size hot water system for your house it is quite simple, if you have a small house with only one bathroom, laundry and kitchen a Rinnai 16 is a good choice, the number 16 stands for how many litres a minute of hot water this unit will deliver. If you have a larger house which has two bathrooms, laundry and kitchen then a Rinnai Infinity 26 is a better choice delivering 26 litres a minute of hot water. In some circumstances these days due to the size of houses and distances between bathrooms some builders are installing two hot water units (one at each end of the house) so that people don’t have to wait long periods of time to get hot water.
The best thing about all this new technology is that majority of these systems deliver a minimum of a 5 star energy rating and some even as high as 7 stars which means my customers are miles in front when it comes to their gas and electricity bills and considering the ever increasing costs in these this is a huge bonus.
I look forward to hearing from you soon about your next hot water project. Please feel to look over our yellow pages listing for some extra information also.
GAS - Natural Gas or LPG anything gas related its in this addition of Plumbing News by Aaron Stewart
Gas is not like water, you can’t see it and once a gas leak has occurred the dangers are usually far more dire than a water leak.
During a plumbing apprenticeship one of the modules you must complete is a basic understanding of Gas Plumbing. To become a Class A Qualified Gasfitter who can certify and sign off gas fitting work is a complex process.
An additional year of study, exams and indepth knowledge is required to be a Class A Qualified Gasfitter.
Once the extra study is undertaken you can then gain valuable year’s worth of experience in the field and offer a unique skill set to customers.
It is due to the complex nature of Gas and the strict rules and ever changing Australian Standards revolving around Natural and LPG that a lot of plumbers choose not to get involved with this field of plumbing work. Being a licensed Gasfitter requires a higher level of public liability and continually attending training courses to keep up to date with the new products on the market and the changes to installation requirements and the Office of Technical Regulators requirements.
I’m very happy that 17 years ago now I decided to dedicate some of my younger years to become a licensed gasfitter and gain a certification which now allows me to attend various jobs which many of my fellow plumbers don’t want to get involved with or are not licensed to perform.
Most domestic houses have low pressure gas to their houses unless they are using LPG which operates at a higher pressure to natural gas and are usually running a gas hot water service, gas cook top and occasionally a gas room heater of some description.
When I’m called to these properties to either replace or service one of these items, after talking with the client and establishing the exact job required the first task I must perform is a test for soundness, this confirms that the gas system which I’m about to start working on does not have a leak, the reason for this is that once a gasfitter performs work on an existing gas piping system they are responsible for the whole gas service being tight (no leaks), so I always test the service prior to performing any work so that if there is an existing leak on the gas pipes I can make the customer aware before any work has commenced. In most circumstances the existing gas pipes are tight, but with the ageing of Adelaide’s galvanised pipe lines leaks are still occurring regularly.
I recently received a call from a customer in Parkside. They went out the front of their house to do some gardening and could smell gas near the gas meter, they contacted their provider who immediately sent out an authorised gas technician who replaced the gas meter and performed a test for soundness on the customers pipes (consumer mains) and found that there was also a gas escape on the customers pipes. The authorised service agent then was obliged by law to turn the gas supply off and cap the incoming gas to the property.
I will now be attending the property early this week to help this customer get there gas turned back on by identifying the location of the leak and fixing this problem for them. This is a classic example of a job which some plumbers would not take on due to lack of experience in this field and also due to license restrictions which they will not be allowed by law to approach such a job.
Currently the government are offering large incentives for customers to change over to gas and install additional gas appliances to their houses “Gas Cash”. My company Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting is registered with this current promotion and it is a great way for my customers to save money in the long run by switching off the old electric bar heater or electric storage hot water system and changing over to Natural Gas which is “Naturally Better” both for the environment and your back pocket.
With the ever increasing costs of electricity in Adelaide changing over to natural gas has never been easier, continuous flow hot water systems only heat the water when you demand it and gas fired cook tops deliver immediate heat to your source pans and pots in the kitchen allowing you only use the amount energy you need to have a shower or cook a meal, not wasting valuable money pre heating or storing large amounts of hot water you never use.
Save money & Help the Environment. Change to Natural Gas today.
Don’t under estimate the danger of gas “Use a Licensed Gasfitter” Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting 0429 361 819 and you can also find us on true local, facebook and twitter.
A lot of people ask me “Aaron why is my sewer drain blocked”? There are various reasons for your drain to slowly clear away or even over flow.
If you live in a house which was built prior to 1980 in Adelaide there is an extremely high probability that your house drain pipes are constructed of earthenware/clay pipes. Over the many years of being buried in the ground these pipes begin to crack due to ground movement.
This can cause two problems,
Firstly if a cracked or broken piece of pipe is intruding into the drain it will allow debris - which comes down the drain - to catch on the sharp edges and clog your drain pipes.
Secondly after years of being in the ground the joints which hold these pipes together begin to deteriorate and moisture from the drain seeps out. Nearby tree roots sense this moisture in the ground and target this area and invade the drain. I’ve often found that after a long dry summer in Adelaide the number of blocked sewer drains I get called to is quite large due to the trees being very thirsty.
It is not always that I get called to a blocked sewer drain I often get called to help unblock a customer’s storm water drain somewhere in Adelaide - especially during winter when we have our first big rain people often notice if they have a problem.
Over the various seasons our storm water pipes are exposed to lots of different items which can cause them to block up ie: leaves, dirt, bird droppings and twigs. After a period of time these items settle in the drain and need assistance to help move them out of your drain.
At Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting I use some of the latest technology to clear my customers blocked drain pipes. A lot of people often ask will you bring out the electric eel or that metal snake machine to clean my drain? I let them know that I no longer use that type of drain cleaning equipment and that I now use a Hydro Jet drain cleaner. The hydro jet is a machine which uses water pressurised at approx. 4000psi and 31litres per minute to clear your drain. There are various nozzles which I can attach to the end of the hose to tackle any blocked drain. The great thing about this piece of equipment is that I can now clear drains sized from 40mm to 200mm with the same machine just by varying the different nozzles, hoses and pressures. Please have a look at the you tube video bellow for further information on hydro jet drain cleaning.
With some of my customers who have continual problems with their drain pipes sewer or storm water I have suggested to them that getting an internal view of what is occurring inside the drain may be a good idea. This is done by using a procedure where I use a water proof camera which is attached to the end of a cable which is monitored from ground level on a full colour computer allowing all surveying to be photographed and recorded in live time.
By doing this we can ascertain exactly where the problem is and what has caused it. Sometimes the problem is as simple as tree roots entering through a minor crack or a flat section or drain pipe which allows the debris to move slowly and in worst case scenarios the drain pipe has collapsed or severely broken away. Whatever the problem is I can always pin point it.
If you have a blocked drain and need some help getting it to clear please call me at Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting 0429 361 819 or visit our web page all about blocked drains and also visit us at the yellow pages and see what other services we can offer you today.
CALL NOW: 0429 361 819
Aaron Stewart owns and works in the business of Mayfair Plumbing & Gas Fitting from there offices now based in Adelaide, South Australia. Aaron and his team of licensed plumbers and design consultants are passionate about there work. In this blog they will bring you plumbing and gas tips gathered from around the globe over 20 plus years of experiences in the many different fields of plumbing. If you are looking for a plumbing firm who can do everything from design, construct, project management and scheduled on site maintenance contact the Mayfair Plumbing Group.